For most of my life, I have lived by the mantra, "if I want something done right, I have to do it myself". I am not quite sure why, because my Dad used to tell me I couldn't do ANYthing right. I was always getting thumped on my head, and called stupid by the very ones that loved me. I just didn't measure up, I felt that at least. Perhaps, that is why I have struggled with perfectionism over the course of my adult life. Sort of a defense mechanism for the inept. "I'll learn to do it perfectly so no one makes fun of me, I can't handle being a disappointment". The D word. No doubt, one of my biggest fears. As a people-pleaser, the last thing I want to do it disappoint people. Seriously, that is the worst thing imaginable to me. So, I have become proficient at many things, and my job here has catered to that.
Here are some of the hats that I wear/have worn in the past:
Mac Tech Support
Etc...I'm sure something will be added to this list pretty soon.
One of the casualties of living this kind of a life, is my department's growth. It becomes very hard to give something away because I believe that I can do it better myself. For instance, after some crazy late Saturday night event, we needed to switch the stage around for Sunday. A friend of mine (someone MORE than capable of setting up the stage) offered to do it in the morning at 4am. I went to bed nervous that when I showed up, there'd be so much to do. He surprised me. At 2am I received a text from him with a picture of the stage, totally set up. I rolled over in my bed at 4am, and got 2 more hours of amazingly restful sleep.
Or, when we hired a video guy, who is MUCH better at video than I am. I had trouble turning that over to him though. Something in me just cringed.
But then he surprised me. Did great video, and I didn't have to do it. Freedom!
Recently, I realized something from a comment that my beautiful wife made. I realized that I also was like this at home. Like...I had the drop on creativity. Like I was the only artist among the family. I never intentionally communicated this, in fact I truly don't believe this. But my wife told me that she felt like I didn't believe in her.
Crushing. How could I make her feel like that? Grief, sorrow...disappointment in myself.
Nothing could be further from the truth. My wife is amazingly creative, and has proven herself over and over again as of late.
- For our 10 year Anniversary, she made me something amazing. She spent about $12 total, and blew me away. The sheer thought that went into making this enormous, candy covered, sweet message filled greeting card - had me speechless. And to see the spark, and excitement in her eyes when she delivered it to me, priceless. I fell in love with her all over again.
- Then, during Easter weekend this year. We did a Dora the Explorer meets Blues Clues skit for our families of young kids. This was a major undertaking, and included many, many people. In addition it blessed many, many people. The amazing thing...it would NOT have happened if it wasn't for my Vanessa. She wrote the script and directed it. GREAT JOB baby.
I do believe in her, wholeheartedly. And now, I am working on living life with these new principles driving me:
- "Prefer the other". - I got this from Bob Kauflin's book "Worship Matters". It a principle that makes your team believe in themselves. When someone comes to me with an idea, and it's not awful, seek to prefer that idea to my own. This practice has not just built ownership in my team, but also grown me personally.
- "Give it away". - Not sure where I first heard this. But, we become the bottleneck in any work flow situation, when we are the only person who can do a certain thing. In addition, it's selfish and ineffective leadership to not be training someone to take your place. I am learning to give my job away, and thereby train folks and pour into them, instead of hoarding and skills that I have.
- "Everyone likes someone who gives them gum". - Thank you The Office. Be the guy who blesses others. Who goes out of my way to compliment other people, and show appreciation.
I have a lot of work cut out for me, because when life is hectic and crazy, it's easy to forget all this, and not take the time to pour into other people. But I have lived long enough thinking "I'll have to do this on my own". Besides, didn't Christ remind us that we can do NOTHING apart from Him?